On the first play from scrimmage against Kansas, Oklahoma took a shot down field to Sterling Shepard. He was in one-on-one coverage, put there by a wrinkle in the Sooners’ offense that is just starting to work.
The result was a 41-yard reception.
On the very next drive with two running backs in the backfield, Joe Mixon leaked out, and uncovered, he hauled in a 68-yard touchdown.
It was a play-action pass that again freed up Oklahoma, a designed fake that has become more prominent in the Sooners’ offense.
“The more effective you are, the better you run the football, generally, the play-action passes become a lot more available,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “So we’ve had more of them, and we’re executing them really well.”
The play-action pass wasn’t there early in the season when Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) averaged more than four yards per carry only once in the first five games. In the last three, Oklahoma is averaging 8.6 yards per carry – 150 carries and 902 yards.
Play-action is a weapon once again.
“It’s something we’ve always been trying to do,” Stoops said. You become a little more effective when you’re effective running the ball. It isn’t new this week. It’s what we’ve been doing.”
It’s just now that Oklahoma is doing it well – or at least much better.